James River Surges on Plan to Acquire International Resources

James River Coal Co. (JRCC), an owner of mines in Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, rose the most in 22 months on plans to buy International Resource Partners LP for $475 million in cash to boost coal output and shipping.

James River climbed $2.64, or 13 percent, to $22.89 at 10 a.m. in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading after touching $23.50, the steepest gain since May 1, 2009. The shares have gained 28 percent in the past year.

International Coal’s mines produced 1.9 million tons of coal last year, James said in a PRNewswire statement. Most of that was metallurgical coal, used to produce steel.

“James River is transforming itself by basically doubling the size of the company and significantly expanding its met coal presence, all at a very reasonable valuation,” Jeremy Sussman, an analyst at Brean Murray Carret & Co. in New York, wrote in a note to clients.

The purchase includes Logan & Kanawha Coal Co., a coal marketing and trading business that helped boost International Resource’s total coal shipments to 3.7 million tons. International Resource reported 2010 consolidated revenue of $490.3 million.

James River secured $375 million in financing from Deutsche Bank AG and UBS AG for the deal.

International Resource Partners was owned by Kayne Anderson Energy Development Co., Lightfoot Capital Partners, Tortoise Capital Resources Corp. and a firm controlled by IRP’s chairman, James Harless.

Deutsche Bank was James River’s financial adviser and UBS advised International Resource, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mario Parker in Chicago at mparker22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Stets at dstets@bloomberg.net.

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